For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Amine supplies in the North American region showed marked improvement as the industrial infrastructure in the USA Gulf region recovered from the devastating impact of the polar winter storm Uri, and major manufacturing facilities ramped up production. Eastman Chemicals ramped up the production rates to fulfil the backlog of orders. The pricing trend of the Methyl Amine showed an uptick for a larger part of Q2, taking cues from the feedstock Ammonia and Methanol. Surging crude oil further maintained operational cost pressure. Methyl Amine demand surged in Q2 as the export market improved and the offtakes were consistent from the pharmaceutical, rubber and dye industries.
The Southeast Asian Methyl Amine market remained under pressure as several economies in the region were severely impacted with the second wave of the COVID which restricted the commercial and industrial activities and pressured raw material availability. Some Asian Methyl Amine producers reduced the operating rates to 70% in May. Therefore, the supplies remained stable while demand remained soft amid prevailing weakness from some consuming sectors. The price of Methyl Amine declined by 10.5% (QoQ) in India with Ex-Works settlements assessed at USD 698 per tonne in June. Demand observed a significant growth from the pharmaceutical and agrochemicals sector, whereas offtakes from the rubber and dye industries witnessed a gradual decline.
Ease in imports of Methyl Amines from the North American region improved the operating rates at several downstream manufacturing facilities. Ramped up run rates further improved supplies in the European region throughout the quarter. However, some constraints were witnessed in the second half as the buyers were reluctant to procure the high-cost feedstock and wait and see approach strongly gripped the European spot market. Demand surged from the rubber industries due to improving offtakes from the recovering automotive sector in the European region.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
During the first quarter, Methyl Amine supplies were strained in the North American region, as several feedstock plants and a major Methyl Amine manufacturer declared force majeure in mid-February, amid severe extreme freeze weather condition in the US gulf region. The demand inclined in the domestic market as the consumption from demand for derivatives and pharma intermediates remained robust. Surging raw material pushed up the production cost of several Methyl Amine manufacturers. Tightness in the market supply was exacerbated by the shutdown of Oxea Chemicals Corporation’s Texas unit in February which further led to global supply shortage. Eastman Chemical Company increased the prices of downstream derivatives by USD 176/MT, effective for all its April deliveries.
The supplies in the APAC region were tight during Q1 of 2021, due to lesser supply amidst the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, followed by the global supply shortage scenario of Methylamine. The demand witnessed a constant uptrend due to the continuous consumption from downstream agrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals sectors. Tight supply and high demand inclined the prices of Methylamine in the domestic markets of the region. Meanwhile, India witnessed an improvement in the imports on y-o-y basis in month of January. The quarterly average of Methylamine prices on CFR India basis was assessed around USD 507/ton.
Methyl Amine supplies in the European region were constrained due to the second wave of COVID-19 and lockdown imposed in major economies across the region. However, the demand improved in the region, due to the surged offtake from the downstream market. Robust demand, especially from the pharmaceutical sector and lesser capacity utilization prompted domestic amine manufacturers announce positive revision in prices throughout the third quarter.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
During Q4 2020, the overall market of Methylamine in Asia was stable and fair demand from the pharmaceutical sector supported the prices. A major Methylamine manufacturer of China revealed that, during Q4 2020, they experienced good sales of Methylamine in semiconductor, electric vehicles batteries, and pharmaceutical sector owing strong margins. Several players anticipated that strong demand would push the Methylamine prices in the upcoming months. Similarly, in the Indian market, strong demand of Methylamine from the pharmaceuticals and agrochemical sector supported prices rise. During Q4 2020, the CFR JNPT price of Methylamine rose from USD 462.9/tonne in October to USD 506.9/tonne in December.
In the North American region, US’ major imports of Methylamine were mainly from Canada. But the Canadian market was going through the shortage of feedstock Methanol. This shortage was driven by unplanned shutdown of major Methanol plants since Q2 of 2020. On the other hand, Gulf coast Ammonia LLC updated that their new ammonia plant in Texas is soon be completed. This plant will solve the global supply crisis of Ammonia. In addition, the demand from Mexico was fair throughout the quarter and from October to November the average price of Methylamine was raised by 5.1% in Mexico.
The European Methylamine industry was heard struggling to cope with production related constraints. During Q4 2020, Europe faced shortage of the feedstock Methanol, due to fire broke out in Equinor’s Methanol manufacturing unit in Norway. This plant accounts more than 25% of the total methanol production of Europe, holding 900,000 tonne/year of production capacity. This shortage hampered the production of Methylamine across the region although the demand was still not up to the pre-pandemic levels.